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All the way around, or just part way?

One of the great questions in the traveling community is that of distance. Do you need to go all the way around the world or can you just go pat way? Can you go a third of the way, and do another chunk of it later? Personally, I say yes and no. The two acts of travel are different things. Or, at least they are in my opinion. When travelers say that they have traveled around the world, it’s a different statement than saying that you took an around the world trip. The first one indicates that you have traveled a great deal and covered a large amount of ground. The second one means that you have circumnavigated the planet, in one fashion or another.

I am a proponent of the partway and then partway method. Why? Simple, it requires much less planning. It requires fewer logistical problems. It can be done in a reasonable amount of time, whether that be a month of six months.

I very much like the idea of the grand adventure. The idea of circumnavigating the planet is a quest few undertake, and fewer complete. It’s a life’s pursuit type of thing. It is on my list of things to accomplish, before I die.

Getting back to the chunky-clunky travel in sections theory, I would say that to claim a “around the world” status you do need to go around the world. If you go a third of the way and then a third of the way, and then finish it off later with the last third, that’s okay. If you skip a section, that’s probably not okay. (My one exclusion to this statement would be war zones. no need to travel through the war zones.)

A great many people travel around one continent, and then on another trip travel around a different continent. I have done this as well. I would say that this approach is fine, as long as it adds up to around the world. Many people use this technique to accomplish a different travel trophy. That would be setting foot on all the continents. This too is a worthy goal, if you chose to attempt it.

I would say that as long as you understand the reason why you travel, go travel and enjoy! If you can pull off a full around the world trip, Awesome. If you do it in smaller pieces, that’s cool too. Either way, get out there and cover some ground. sooner or later, we’ll all make it all the way around to where we started.

Now go! Get out there.

 

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The author, traveling around Egypt with a bunch of crazy Australians. Summer of 2000.

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Travel

Stuff part two. The small stuff.

This section of dealing with stuff is based around the smaller stuff in your life. You will also find that it requires easier decision making paradigms.

If you have decided to keep your house, condo, apartment while you are away traveling around the globe, well then, this decision is easy. You leave your stuff right where it is. See, that was easy!

If you decide to downsize, some more relevant decisions need to be made. First question, do you keep anything? If you’re like me and have been a bunch of places, the answer to this question is yes. Realistically, by the time that you have made it to the middle of your years, you have collected a certain amount of things that are not disposable. However, you’ll be amazed at just how little stuff this actually is. Seriously, it’s not as much as you think it is.

It needs to be noted at this point, I hate junk. I hate clutter. It’s probably left over military living or something. Maybe it’s a side-effect of 20 years of traveling for work. Stuff that doesn’t have a specific place and need is junk. Junk needs to be disposed of. It is my opinion that if you are going to traveling, even domestically, for any amount of time, you need to develop a less is more strategy.

For most people, separating themselves from piles of possessions is much more of an emotional issue than it is anything else. It is a capitalist mantra that people need stuff. People that have stuff are well off. More stuff is more good. That way of thinking is, once again in my personal opinion, a bunch of rubbish.

Once of dispose of your home’s furniture, there will be a big pile of stuff leftover. That stuff, is the stuff we are talking about. The furniture in any home can basically be replaced with no great loss of equity later on. It is also a good source of extra travel money. If you have family heirlooms, or antique pieces of furniture, that is a different matter altogether. On that specific note I would say store those items for later on. Usually, antique furniture equity cannot be recouped later on and should be retained. Otherwise, dump the furniture.

That pile of randomness left in your apartment or house is what now remains of your life, to date. You will find that probably 20 percent of that pile is actually stuff that says something about your years on this planet. The other 80 percent is just stuff. The stuff, that’s what you want to be separating yourself from. This point, right here, is where many people emotionally fall down.

Everybody has that friend. That friend that has a house full of stuff. Fancy painted signs on the wall, little stuffed do-dads in every corner. Different sets of dishes for different days of the week. Travelers are NOT these people. Don’t attempt to be these people. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll understand that all of this “stuff” is junk that can be expunged from your life. If you truthfully, emotionally can’t bring yourself to part with your knickknacks, you may want to rethink a traveling and adventurous lifestyle. It’s probably not for you.

For the rest of you, Trust me when I say that a well appointed two bedroom house will fit comfortable in a 10-foot by 10-foot storage unit when you’re down downsizing. I know it will. Personally, I think 10×10 is a little too big, but it’s a standard size in the storage unit business.

As far as disposal goes: I say either list it or just give it away. You would be amazed how many of your friends will take knickknacks from you. (More stuff is more good.) The listing side is also easy. There’s Craigslist, Facebook, A dozen stuff selling apps, and the newspaper want ads for starters. Once you cut the emotional cord, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to actually get rid of.

Moral, less is more. The emotional freedom of not having to look after your stuff is worth the effort made. Less is more. Experience will always outweigh stuff. Always, and every time.

That’s my two cents.

Now, go on. Get out there.

 

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One house in a 10×10. Probably should have dumped the bike, but we can’t all live by our convictions, can we?

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